‘When things go bad you have to help people’

Meet Chris Peters, a registered nurse who is working through the pandemic at our donor centre in Moncton.

April 29, 2020

“Coming to work is cleansing sometimes. Sometimes it’s emotionally tiring, but it’s also cleansing”

“Coming to work is cleansing sometimes. Sometimes it’s emotionally tiring, but it’s also cleansing”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing you stories of our employees who continue to work on the front lines. Chris Peters is a registered nurse at Canadian Blood Services’ donor centre in Moncton, N.B.

I’ve been at Canadian Blood Services for almost five years. I started out as a volunteer and I loved it. My daughter works here too, though she’s on maternity leave now. She’s the one who told me they were looking for a registered nurse.

For me one of the hardest things about the pandemic is being away from my daughter’s family. My grandson is 16 months old. If my husband and I weren’t working outside the home we would have all moved in together. But I couldn’t not come to work. When things go bad you have to help people. As an RN that’s part of what you sign up for, in my mind.

‘I come here for the donors’

Traffic control is the hardest thing at work now. Always making sure the donors are as far apart as they need to be and making sure the staff are too. It’s our job to correct each other but do it nicely. Because we forget. Some people are “touchers” with no sense of personal space whatsoever and I sometimes have to back up during conversations. Human nature is human nature. We’re all created differently.

I come here for the donors. Everybody needs a paycheque, but I love the donors. I find the ones I’m meeting now are the ones who haven’t donated for a long time. They’re coming back for different reasons. I had a gentleman today whose daughter is an intensive care nurse in Ottawa. He was probably donating because of what his daughter is doing right now. He was very emotional, thanking me for what I do. He’s probably worried sick about her.

‘You have to find some positives in the universe’

Coming to work feels cleansing sometimes. Sometimes you’re emotionally tired, but it’s also cleansing, right? You have to find some positives in the universe. These donors are doing wonderful things right now. They’re thanking us for keeping the donor centre open. We can’t believe they’re even thanking us. They’re just as appreciative of us, as we are of what they’re doing. Sometimes getting out of the house and coming here is a blessing for them.

What am I doing to take care of myself? I walk a lot. I need to walk. I try to do my walking as soon as I get home. I get out of my uniform and have a shower and I try to walk at least 35 minutes. And sometimes when I get home after that, I have to brain fry. Just watch comedy shows.

Of the RNs at work, and there’s four of us, three of us are grandparents who can’t see their grandkids. We just seem to talk about our grandkids non-stop. I think it’s therapeutic for us.

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